Miami Grand Prix: Max Verstappen equals 31-year-old record with latest pole position

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen is on pole for the Miami Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen is on pole for the Miami Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen has become the first driver in 31 years to take pole position at each of the first six rounds of the season, the Red Bull driver set to line up P1 for the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday.

It’s his seventh consecutive pole position in all, but he had to work for it as he was run close by the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with Sergio Perez making it an all Red Bull-Ferrari first two rows on the grid.

Max Verstappen takes pole for Miami Grand Prix

After the Sprint earlier on Saturday, the teams were once again allowed to make changes to their cars ahead of qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix.

After his impressive P4 showing in the Sprint, Daniel Ricciardo knew he would come into qualifying with a three-place grid penalty as a hangover from the Chinese Grand Prix last time out to factor in, but aside from that, it was business as usual on track as Q1 started with a massive scramble to get out on track.

Verstappen had the chance to become the first driver in 31 years to take pole at each of the first six races of the season, Alain Prost having been the last to do it for Williams in 1993, but the pace McLaren in particular showed in Sprint qualifying meant there was hope for Red Bull’s rivals heading into the session.

And in the final five minutes of Q1, it was Carlos Sainz fastest from Lando Norris, Verstappen and Oscar Piastri – all four of which within a tenth of the early benchmark in a close start to qualifying.

Sergio Perez soon clocked a 1:27.772 to go quickest of all, but the fight turned to who would be in the bottom five come the end of Q1 – and when the final laps all shook out, the ones to drop out were Valtteri Bottas, Logan Sargeant, Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen and Zhou Guanyu.

It was a disappointing return for Ricciardo in particular, who went from the second row in Sprint qualifying to placing his RB last on the grid once his penalty is applied – adding “I had no rear” on team radio. recommends

Follow’s WhatsApp and Facebook channels for all the F1 breaking news!

F1 2024: Head-to-head qualifying record between team-mates

Q2, as ever, saw the fight to make it through to the top 10 and Norris tested the limits at the Turn 14/15 chicane as he went airborne in his McLaren – briefly getting all four wheels off the ground as he navigated one of the slowest parts of the track.

Alex Albon briefly brought out a double yellow flag for coming to a stop at the final hairpin before being able to get going, but all eyes would be on the final flying laps and who could make it into the top 10 shootout.

But after going slower on soft tyres on Friday, Norris took the gamble and used medium tyres for his final Q2 run to see how he would fare, while his rivals stuck with soft rubber – and the McLaren driver was able to get safely through.

Fernando Alonso could not get himself into the top 10 in the first time he has missed out on Q3 this season, set to start P15 on Sunday. Team-mate Lance Stroll went quicker in the sister Aston Martin, but improvements elsewhere meant he was also knocked out.

Both Alpine drivers were also eliminated in P12 and P13 respectively, with Pierre Gasly out-qualifying Esteban Ocon for the first time this year for a race, with Alex Albon also dropping out in Q2.

Q3 began with Verstappen laying down the gauntlet on a 1:27.241, half a second clear of team-mate Perez, but the Ferrari duo of Leclerc and Sainz were within two tenths after the first run and in touch – making pole position not quite a done deal for the reigning World Champion.

Norris placed himself P6 for McLaren after his first run on medium tyres but team-mate Oscar Piastri, running half of McLaren’s substantial upgrade package appearing on Norris’ car, was two places ahead on his first run.

Interestingly, for the final laps, while Norris swapped back to soft tyres, both Mercedes drivers followed McLaren’s lead in trying a run on medium tyres to try and improve their provisional placings of seventh and eighth.

Verstappen, Perez and Piastri could not improve on their best times, but Norris jumped up into P5 in his McLaren.

The Ferrari duo could not improve either, and despite a small jump in time for Hamilton on his medium tyres, it was not enough to overhaul Russell in the sister Mercedes as they locked out the fourth row.

Miami Grand Prix 2024: Qualifying classification

1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull 1:27.241
2 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.141
3 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.214
4 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull +0.219
5 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.353
6 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.434
7 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.826
8 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.866
9 Nico HULKENBERG Haas +0.905
10 Yuki TSUNODA RB +0.951
11 Lance STROLL Aston Martin 1:28.222
12 Pierre GASLY Alpine +0.102
13 Esteban OCON Alpine +0.149
14 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.191
15 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.205
16 Valtteri BOTTAS Kick Sauber 1:28.463
17 Logan SARGEANT Williams +0.024
18 Daniel RICCIARDO RB* +0.154
19 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas +0.156
20 Guanyu ZHOU Kick Sauber +0.359

*Three-place grid penalty to be applied.

Read next: Toto Wolff denies dispensation request ahead of reported Antonelli/Schumacher comparison test